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The elliptical machine will tell you how many calories you've burned. This basically depends on how fast you go and how long you stay on. Set the tension high enough that you feel a little resistance, but not so high that you can't exercise very long. If you're interested in weight loss, try for at leaset 200-300 calories expended on your elliptical every day. They don't all have to be in the same session. Work up to 500 and you'll see great results.